Actually I think in some cases they would (I'm not just talking Who here I'm talking across the board in tv and film). It might be down to laziness, it might be down to sheer logistics (you can't audition 25,000 people for a role after all) it might be down to salary requirements, scheduling conflicts, personality conflicts, nepotism... a whole heap of reasons. Plus of course the best person might turn you down!
Really? I just find it hard to believe that a show runner who is eager to make the best show she or he can wouldn't try to find the best person possible. (To them anyway.)
Sure, sometimes first choices can't happen, but there are a TON of talented actors in the world.
I just cannot believe someone casting a lead in a show would go, "meh, why not?" The stakes are to high.
Do you have an example? Not one where you believe they went "meh," but one where we know the director or show runner did.
If they were to say 'I only want to see women for the auditions', then they might end up casting the best female for the part, but one who might not be as good as a male who never got to audition. The reverse would apply, obviously.
Which has been happening, to be sure. Women haven't been able to audition at all for the role. They have been saying, "we will see only men."
I agree, I think they should keep an open mind. But, honestly, I don't see it as a problem if they said, "you know, next Doctor is going to be played by a woman."
That's the important bit, after all Avery Brooks didn't get the role of Sisko because he was the best black man auditioned, he got the role because he was the best man auditioned. You'd just have to be really cagey about the job spec. "We're looking for a man or a woman to play an older mentor figure, a wizard, someone with great wisom and gravitas but who is also quirky and can be childish sometimes. Age and ethnicity imaterial."
Of course it might be pretty obvious who they're looking for...
That's not how casting calls work. They would just say it. It would be, THE DOCTOR, older mentor figure, a wizard, someone with great wisom and gravitas but who is also quirky and can be childish sometimes. All gender, age and ethnicities.
The all ethnicities is what they say in a lot of casting calls, unless they are specifically looking for a specific ethnicity or age, then they'll say, black, white, latino, etc.
Of course, for a role like Doctor Who, they aren't going to see 10,000 people, literally looking for the best person. They are going to put out feelers and they are going to crete a short list and see those people. For a role that prominent.
I would love for them to have an open mind. And if they decide they are going with a woman, or an actor of color, before they choose the actor, I don't think they need to justify it.
They don't have to justify why this being who can change their looks always chooses to be a white guy. Why should they if it's a woman? Or an actor of color?
I kinda hope they choose a woman of color, the internets would explode.